Open Source software and eLearning

Campus-technology have written an overview of how cost patterns might differ between setting up a commercial eLearning environment and an open source one. Among those mentioned in the report are Sakai, and Moodle.

For example, they are suggesting that while 8% of the total budget is required for staff development and training for proprietary software, it’s 30% for Open Source. The model actually has the two costing overall a similar figure, but they suggest:

  1. Elimination or reduction of license and maintenance fees leaves more budget available to invest in adapting the software, managing organizational change, providing professional development, and responding to end-user requests.
  2. Commercial services are kept in check by market forces, because companies offering commercial support for open source software must compete on the quality and value of their offering rather than relying on an artificial lock on customers that makes switching prohibitive
  3. Customizing open source software can be done more effectively because there are few barriers to adapting, sharing, and collaboratively developing new applications.

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